National Geographic : 1995 Jul
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Scenes * FROM THE EDITOR Every day I hear from staff members, freelancers, and research grant recipients about their experiences in the field and what the Society is accomplishing with your dues. In this new feature we will share these often amusing, sometimes -B I LL ALLEN The Cover That Never Was THE LINE between fiction and nonfiction blurred for some of our readers when the novel The Bridges of Madison County topped the bestseller lists with its hero, Robert Kincaid, por trayed as a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC photographer. Convinced that Kincaid is real, members have been writing and calling to ask KENREGAN,CAMERA5 when his arti cle on covered bridges was published. The answer is: Never. Robert Kincaid is pure fiction. Still uncon vinced, one visitor to our library riffled through 1960s GEOGRAPHICS hoping to find his story. Even so, when actor-director Clint Eastwood announced he would turn the novel into a mov ie, we decided that if art really hoped to imi tate life, it ought to contain some semblance of reality. Thus we sent the production crew two camera bags used in the 1960s by a staff photog rapher, along with this make-believe May 1966 cover and GEOGRAPHIC photographs that East wood-aka Kincaid- shows as his own work. To learn the truth about what our photogra phers really do, watch for an article in the August issue on shooting for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Foreign Language First ENGLISH OR JAPANESE? Readers in Japan now have a choice. In Aprilw e inaugurated our first foreign language edition of the magazine-in Japanese. When it was advertised in Tokyo, incoming orders oaC,,,,, R, OKYN r overloaded our fax machine there; circulation had reached nearly 140,000 by mid-April. The new edition, a joint venture with Nikkei Business Publications, is a close copy of the English one. Since Japanese characters require more space, our English text is cut 20 percent before being translated. And translation leads to unexpected variations; Earth Almanac becomes Interesting Little Stories About the Planet. Annual membership costs 7,800 yen ($95), a bargain in pricey Japan, where a cup of coffee can leave your wallet ten dollars lighter. JULY 1995 amazing stories.